Sunday, May 6, 2012

Abandoning books

Just wondering what people do when they aren't enjoying a book. Myself, I'll give it about 50 pages (I'll go up to 100 if it's non-fiction or rambly Victorian tomes which generally take a little longer to get into). But if it's not holding my interest by then, I'm done with it. Although I've even abandoned books more than halfway or two-thirds of the way through because I just couldn't keep reading any more. My philosophy is that reading is one of my favorite things to do, and I don't want to make a chore of it. I used to force myself to finish every book I started. But then I decided it wasn't worth it and it was making me dislike reading.
 Besides, I have this book here, in which all but the last two pages are filled with books to read (somewhere around 130 pages). Then there's an excel spreadsheet I was using before this book came along, and there's still 100 books left on that sheet, whittled down from I think 400 at the peak.  Basically, if I am going to try to read every book in the world, well, it's not going to happen getting bogged down with reading bad books. Or maybe not bad, but just not for me either at that particular moment. Or ever. Maybe I will miss out on a really great book, but I'm ok with that. 

And what of rereading? I know of some people who never reread, because of various reasons, but a common thread seems to be they're afraid they won't like it as much the second time around. Which you know, sometimes it happens. And then sometimes I've read a book and didn't like it, completely forgot about it, and reread it years later and changed my mind. I don't reread often, because of said massive lists to read; but I had finally gotten to a point last year that I had finally read all the books I owned (there were several years I binged a little too much on library book sales and the thrift stores that sold books for 50 cents). So then I was able to start rereading again the books I loved, some of which I hadn't been able to reread since high school. It's comforting in a way, like visiting old friends. And sometimes you find that those old friends are kind of embarrassing and obnoxious and say offensive things and you can't imagine why you were so fond of them in the first place. And then with other rereads, it just confirms that you had great taste then and still do.

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